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Mission, which abounds with facts which serve to show that a great change has taken place in the Jewish mind, and that principles are in operation, which, with the Divine blessing, may be expected to produce their corresponding fruits.. While the authority of the Talmud is waning in public estimation, the Holy Scriptures are being more generally recognized as the only foundation of truth. Nothing can more thoroughly demonstrate this, than the conduct of those who are public teachers ;-a rabbinicallylearned schoolmaster openly confessing before his pupils, that he has no authority in matters of religion, and that the Bible alone is the standard. The rising generation have their minds imbued and informed with regard to Christian doctrine, and in reference to this, a Jew remarked: "The day has arrived when we must become better acquainted with the New Testament, so as to answer the questions which our children bring with them from the Christian schools.''
The Rev. R. Bellson gives interesting reports of the labours of the Colporteur and Dr. Biesenthal in the Mission of the Society in CENTRAL PRUSSIA, and with reference to the state of the Jews in general, he observes that, “If matters proceed as they have done, Judaism will ere long be a matter of history only. The friends of Israel must not measure the result of our mission by the number of baptisms. A great number of baptisms at any station, proves as little what is really done there, as a few at another station; and even none does not prove that there is little done there. The result of the Jewish Mission, and its point of gravity, does not lie in the number of baptisms, though that number be great; and we have reason to bless God for it. But we must look to the state and condition of the Jewish people as a whole, and those that have eyes to see, must perceive that God is preparing them for their great final destiny. And let us not be ashamed or deterred by a mock humility, from maintaining that our mission is the chief instrument in this great drama, and that very much that is now done by others in connexion with us, and even by the different Governments, is the result and the effect, directly or indirectly, of the labours of the London Society."
From SILESIA the Rev. J. C. Hartmann sends the gratifying information that “ Hundreds and thousands of the Jews have had the Gospel preached to them, both in my Church, in which there have always been some,) in the streets, and in other places.' Gospel truth has been pressed upon their attention by word, and a great number of tracts have been distributed amongst and read by them. By these means, their ideas respecting Judaism and Christianity have been corrected, and they themselves have become less prejudiced against the Christian faith. The seed of the Word of God has been sown, and I dare say
that it begins to germinate in many a heart, the proof of which I find in the increasing desire expressed by the Jews to become better informed respecting the Christian religion.”
We omit what might have been gathered from other pages of the report, and hasten to the conclusion, in which the Committee
:-“A considerate and candid view of the past proceedings of your Society will not only suggest the conclusion that it has not laboured in vain, but that it has met with a very large measure of blessing and success. And when we consider, yet further, what wonderful changes the Lord has wrought in the religious state of the Jews during the last forty years, and how He has made use of your Society as the chief instrument of effecting these changes, our hearts should overflow with adoring gratitude.
The impression thus made on the Jewish mind, your Committee fully believe to be real and lasting:
It cannot be correctly estimated by the number of those who have already confessed Christ in the ordinance of baptism. It is more manifest in the manner in which Judaism is being shaken to its foundations; the revolution which is taking place in the Jewish mind; the evidences that prejudices are being subdued, and just views of Christianity established ; and in the conviction and belief of multitudes, who have never yet had the courage, or been placed in a position, in which, through the ordinance of baptism, they could take up the banner of the Gospel.”
“ A retrospective view of our work is thus far encouraging; but let ours be the office of hus. bandmen, who are labouring, and watching, and waiting for the future. The fields are whitening for the harvest, but the labourers are still few, and the resources inadequate. The more widely the door is opened through the providence of God, the more imperative is our duty to enter in and occupy the field. The efforts that have been made are cheering, but yet your Committee are constrained to confess, that the more they compare the work done with what remains still undone, the more they feel the need of increased exertion. North Africa, and the Eastern world,
with their Jewish inhabitants computed by hundreds of thousands,-and perhaps far exceeding our present estimates,-these localities are so insignificantly provided for, that they may well awaken our sympathies. Many of our missionary brethren justly plead for help in their particular districts, but how can help be given when such a moral wilderness lies before us, altogether untouched, and desolate. Your Committee would point you to the descendants of Abraham, to those who are of the same stock as the first preachers of the everlasting Gospel, multitudes of whom have never heard the name of Jesus, and never met with the New Testament. How, therefore, can they believe in Him of whom they have not heard ? How can they hear unless one be sent?
Encouraging, then, are the prospects before us. A people, ready to receive the Bible and the missionary, awaits the effort which the Lord calls upon us to make.
Let us be more earnest and more prayerful, and the Lord will do far greater things; for He has spoken good concerning Israel.
THE SEPHARDIM IN TURKEY, The Jews are divided into two classes or families, distinguished by the names Sephardim and Askenazim. This latter term is applied to the Jews of Poland, Germany, &c. ; the former to those who resided in Spain and Portugal, and to their descendants. There is an interesting history of these, entitled “Sephardim,” by James Finn, Esq., the present British Consul at Jerusalem. From Da Costa's 66 Israel and the Gentiles” we extract the following history of the Sephardim in Turkey.
“ History takes but little note of the Jews in the Turkish Empire before the close of the Middle Ages, but soon after the taking of Constantinople by the Turks, in 1453, it became apparent that a large body of the Jewish people had formed a considerable part of the population in the metropolis and in other parts of the empire. The Spanish exiles did not introduce, but found a vast number of synagogues already established, and masters of high repute, whose rabbinical lore was not much inferior in degree to their own during the Middle Ages. Constantinople, Jerusalem, Tiberias, Damascus, Aleppo, Nicopolis, and Salonichi, had become central points for Jewish literature and theology. The population in all these cities was rapidly increased by numerous detachments from Spain and Portugal. The new synagogues, however, remained distinct, preserving not only their own liturgy, language, and customs, but even continuing for a time to class themselves by the names of the cities and provinces they had formerly inhabited; thus their synagogues were long distinguished, as those of Arragon, of Toledo, of Lorca, Lisbon, &c.
One of the most important benefits which the accession of these thousands of Spanish fugitives, with their learned men, conferred on the Jewish communities of Turkey, was the removal of their printing-presses, which were soon in full activity. At Constantinople and Salonichi, as well as many Italian cities, the Holy Scriptures of the Old Testament were printed and abundantly circulated in Hebrew and Spanish, together with